Chapter Sixteen

Monday, November 11, 2002 – outside the Hyperion Hotel, Los Angeles; not long after sunset:

Wesley strolled around the front garden of the hotel, alone, and looking lost in thought.

Ever since he had woken up in this place roughly twenty-four hours ago, his entire world had been thoroughly shaken to its very foundations. Wesley knew that his life hadn't turned out at all like he'd thought it would; and so, he wanted answers. Such as, why was he no longer with the Council? Why was he living here in the colonies? And why would he have joined forces with Angelus, of all creatures, even if that damned thing truly had been cursed with a human soul and was thus no longer an enemy?

He'd come to the conclusion that it wasn't a good idea to contact his parents in England about it, not after what he'd heard Miss Burkle say. And unfortunately, neither Ms. Lockley nor that Connor lad knew the answers to his inquiries. Indeed, Wesley privately suspected those two weren't particularly interested in helping him – or any of the other amnesiacs here at the hotel, who were just as lost and confused as he was; it was Angelus and that Cordelia Chase woman who were the foci of their attentions. And with his current mindset, it wasn't too hard for Wes to figure out exactly why Connor and Ms. Lockley were so focused on those particular individuals.

One of his duties as Head Boy at the Watchers Academy was to keep an eye on all the students there – via the prefects and other intermediaries – and prevent them from shagging members of the opposite sex at every possible opportunity, after all.

Suddenly, he noticed a long black limousine come to a stop outside the front gate of the hotel. A few moments later, Wesley saw a beautiful woman with faintly caramel-colored skin and wearing a provocative and sexy dress get out of the vehicle, and walk towards him with almost preternatural grace and calm.

"Good evening. And who might you be?" Wesley asked politely, as soon as she came within hailing distance.

The woman smiled at him. "My name is Madam Anita," she said in a throaty, contralto voice. "And you are?"

"Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, madam, at your service," Wesley snapped to attention and inclined his head slightly. "Now, may I ask what you're doing here?"

"You may, Mr. Wyndam-Pryce," Madam Anita replied. "And the answer is that I've been asked to come here and assist with your little memory problem, seeing as how I'm in the trade – well, as a sideline, of course."

Wes frowned. "You've been asked to come here and help me? By whom? And what exactly did you mean by being in the, ah, 'trade'?"

"As to the first question, by the person waiting inside the limo," Madam Anita said, gesturing at the vehicle. "And as for the second one, I run a very exclusive brothel in Beverly Hills. The person contracting for my services knew that I could help with the current situation, since some of my customers have a fondness for... well, let's call it very creative role-playing, shall we? Burying themselves in the part so deeply with one of my girls, that at the time, they don't actually remember who they are... "

"Yes, well, that sort of thing sounds – fascinating," Wesley replied neutrally, glancing at the limo and wondering who exactly his unknown benefactor was. "Still, seeing as how I don't know you, I'm afraid I'm going to need a little more than that."

Madam Anita shrugged. "I've met your colleague named Angel, and I've spoken with your associate Cordelia Chase on the phone; last year, she made arrangements to buy a mystical prophylactic from me. Angel and his friend, the Groosalugg, came to my establishment and purchased the item in question. Will that do?" she asked.

"I'm not sure, seeing as how I have no memories of any of that, either." Wes frowned, especially about the 'Groosalugg' part, before making a decision. "You'd best come inside the hotel, please. Doubtless, the others will want to meet you if you're to restore their memories as well."

"Ah? Curious. My employer didn't mention anyone else, just you. How many people are you referring to?"

Wesley examined her carefully. "There's myself, Mr. Gunn, Miss Burkle and that demon calling itself Krevlorneswath of the Deathwok clan. And both Angelus – sorry, Angel – and Miss Chase, who don't happen to be here right now."

"Hrmm. It seems I'll have to re-negotiate my price, please wait here... " Madam Anita turned around, and almost glided back to the limousine.

Wesley watched her do so, torn between going inside to tell everyone the news and marching up to the limousine to determine who his mystery benefactor was. In the end, though, he decided to obey Madam Anita's polite request and stay exactly where he was. { No use rocking the boat at this point, } he thought to himself, { either the woman is who and what she says she is and she'll help me; or, she's an enemy who'll need to be dispatched as soon as possible. Possibly even both. }

Madam Anita soon returned from the limousine. "Well, I have good news and bad news."

"Perhaps we should start with the good news?" Wesley asked guardedly.

"Very well. The good news is that the person who hired me for this job is willing to pay for your associates to also receive the elixir which will restore your memories," Madam Anita explained.

"And the bad news?"

Madam Anita shrugged slightly. "You will have to find and administer the cure to Angel and Ms. Chase yourself, as I don't have time to do that – I have a business to run, after all. And the elixir itself will only last for seventy-two hours, after which if you want more – it will cost you. Apparently, your patron is not willing to pay for the same service twice."

"I see," Wes replied, glancing at the limo once more. He then nodded and said, "Very well. But first, as I said, we should discuss this with the others. Come with me, please."

He led the way towards the hotel and entered the lobby with Madam Anita close behind. Wes then called out, "Could I kindly have everyone's attention?"

"What's goin' on?" Miss Burkle drawled in her distinctive accent, examining the woman in the golden dress. "And who's she?"

"I'll explain in a moment, Miss Burkle. Where's everyone else?" Wes asked, as he could see only the Texan woman and the demon in the lobby.

"I dunno," Miss Burkle shrugged. "Upstairs, I think."

"Could we please get this over with?" Madam Anita asked politely. "I need to return to my brothel, after all."

"Brothel?" Miss Burkle and Krevlorneswath echoed, giving him a strange look. The demon then said, "Look, cow – "

"DON'T call him that!" Miss Burkle interrupted fiercely, glaring at the green creature. "I told you before, we're not dumb cattle!"

"Uh, sorry. All right, look – human," the annoying demon almost stumbled over the word, "What's going on? Why have you brought someone from a brothel here? I mean, this is hardly the time for that sort of entertainment, is it?"

"Ewww!" Miss Burkle groaned, as she quickly got the demon's meaning. "And if you were thinkin' I'd take part in that sort of thing? Forget it! I mean, if I didn't wanna work in the local house of ill repute back in San Antonio... "

"If I could possibly get a word in?" Wesley interrupted, looking irritated. "Miss Burkle, Krevlorneswath of the Deathwok clan, I'd like to introduce Madam Anita; someone who apparently knows Angel and Miss Chase. She says she's been contracted to help restore our memories, even if she hasn't mentioned who our mystery benefactor is... "

"Sorry. But client confidentiality is very important in my line of work," Madam Anita said to all three of them. "Shall we begin?"

Without waiting for an answer, she lifted one hand up into the air. Everyone heard a soft little tinkling sound, as her hand was enveloped in a deep blue light. As she brought her hand back down, Madam Anita was suddenly holding a small, metallic-looking bottle. Within it, a glowing blue liquid could be seen.

"All of you who need your memories restored, take a sip of this," she said simply. "Just don't take too long to do so, because as I said – the elixir's potency will last for exactly three days from now, and not a moment longer." Without another word, she gave the bottle to him, and then turned and glided out of the lobby.

"Wait!" the Texan woman called out, even if the brothel owner paid no attention to her and walked out the doors. Miss Burkle then turned to look at him. "Where'd you find that... person? And golly gee, did y'all see what she just did?! It was like magic... "

"There's no 'like' about it, Miss Burkle; that was magic," Wes told her, while examining the bottle carefully. "Hrmm. And as for where I found her, I didn't; she found me. Us. She arrived with our mysterious sponsor, in a limousine outside on the street."

"Really? Wow. I wonder who?" Miss Burkle said, looking towards the front doors of the hotel.

"Well, you could always go outside and ask," Krevlorneswath suggested helpfully, before pointing at the bottle he was holding. "In the meantime, what do we do about that?"

"I suggest we gather everyone here – Ms. Lockley, Connor, Mr. Gunn – and then proceed on deciding what to do next," Wesley said thoughtfully.

"Oh, what's that going to accomplish? Here, give that to me," the demon reached out, snapping his fingers and gesturing for him to hand over the bottle. "Someone needs to try out that elixir, and I'm willing to do it."

"But, but what if that stuff kills you?" Miss Burkle protested on instinct, as Wes handed over the bottle.

"First, not a coward. And if it kills me, at least I'll end up in a better place than this," Krevlorneswath said philosophically. "Personally, I can't imagine Tarkna being any worse... "

Without another word, the creature pulled out the stopper and took a small gulp of the blue liquid. Immediately, Krevlorneswath's expression changed; his eyes widened, and he looked around in amazement. "Holy shades of Aretha Franklin, but this is just... "

"Did it work?" Miss Burkle demanded, intrigued.

"Oh, yeah, kitten – I remember everything now. Hoo boy, do I ever! And hey; sorry about all the 'cow' wisecracks lately," Krevlorneswath said apologetically, glancing from her to Wesley and then back again. "Teenager in Pylea, you see, I-I really didn't know any better – "

"OK, gimme," the Texan female interrupted, grabbing the bottle out of his hands. "I'm next."

"Are you sure about this, Miss Burkle?" Wes asked guardedly. He didn't care all that much about the demon, which was why he'd let it be the guinea pig for all this – but she was a fellow human being, and he felt like it was his duty to point out the possible danger.

"It worked for Krevlorneswath here, didn't it?" the woman gestured at the demon.

"Fred, sweetie – please, don't call me that. Here on Earth, the name's Lorne," the creature told her gently, before turning to face him. "And Wes, I think it'll be OK. I remember now how Madam Anita has a decent reputation, at least for a woman in her line of work; her brothel is a straight-up operation, no blackmail pictures or anything like that, and Cordy-kins has done business with her in the past," Krev- no, Lorne reassured them hastily. "She sent Groo and Angel there to buy – "

"A mystical prophylactic? Yes, so Madam Anita mentioned outside," Wes interrupted. He then turned to the brunette and said, "Very well, it would seem then that the odds are in your favor; so have at it, if you think you should."

Miss Burkle nodded, and took a sip of the blue fluid. Choking, she almost dropped the bottle, before Lorne grabbed it away from her. "Fred, honey, are you alright?" the demon asked in concern.

Eyes watering, Miss Burkle looked up in confusion. "Lorne?" Then she said with a horrified tone of voice, "Oh ye gods, I remember now... I remember everything... "

"Right there with you, honeybun," Lorne said sympathetically, before holding the elixir up to him. "Your turn, Tall Dark and Stubbly."

Wesley nodded, grabbed the bottle, and unhesitatingly downed a quick gulp of the elixir. Immediately, the memories cascaded through his mind...

Everything that had happened since he was seventeen years old. Everything. Literally. A torrent of intense images, memories and feelings rushed through his brain...

{ Oh. Oh my, } Wes thought dazedly to himself, before forcing himself bury the bulk of the memories and to focus back on the present. The here and now. And the first thought to come to mind was –

"Good grief, but that tasted utterly disgusting!" He made a face, attempting not to vomit up the blue fluid. "What on earth were the ingredients, yak piss and liquefied camel dung?"

"Actually... no, wait. It worked, right? I mean, you remember who I am now? Who we are?" Lorne gestured to himself and Fred.

"Oh, yes. I remember. In exquisite detail," Wesley replied, with a new hardness in his tone and a look of disdain and contempt appearing on his face. He put the metal bottle into the anagogic demon's hand and said, "And quite frankly, Lorne, consider this the last time that I ever do you a favor of this sort!"

"Huh?" Fred said, before realization hit her over the head with a clue-by-four. "Oh! You mean being part of that spell, to fix Cordelia's memory loss... "

"Hey, c'mon; sour grapes? Not very becoming of you, Wes, I have to say," Lorne said, adjusting his stance a little. The demon then looked surprised as he turned around and began heading for the front doors of the hotel. "Uh... "

"Wesley? Where are you going? We still need to find Angel and Cordelia, not to mention get Charles back to normal... " Fred trailed off, as he turned to look back at her.

"I'm sorry, Fred. Were you somehow under the impression that I'm obligated to help you and Lorne sort this mess out?" Wes asked cynically, before opening one of the doors. "If so, I'm not. And in case you haven't noticed, I want as little to do with Gunn, Cordelia and that vampire you work for, as they want to do with me. So I'd suggest you go find your boyfriend, and get him to help you. As it happens, I have other priorities." So saying, Wesley slammed the door shut on his way out.


A few moments later – the same place; not long after sunset:

"I... I... I can't believe Wesley just did that!" Fred spluttered. She was just about to begin chasing after him, to give the British man a piece of her mind – when Lorne caught her wrist and shook his head.

"Let it go, puddin'. That Sugar Plum has, well... issues. And unfortunately, Wes is right; he's not part of the band anymore, and both the Angel-cake and your significant other do get a mite prickly whenever he shows his face at the hotel, nowadays. C'mon, we'd best get upstairs and find the others... "

"You mean, you agree with him? With what Wesley just said?" Fred demanded indignantly.

"It's not about what I think, honey-pie; it's about what Mr. Attitude out there thinks. And feels. Problem is that Wes can remember now how all of us treated him after the little nipper's kidnapping, way back when. How you went into his hospital room that night, dumped all his stuff there and told him never to come back to Angel Investigations. Ya know, come to think of it, after everything that happened last year? It's a miracle how that boy is still talking to any of us, let alone having raised our undead hero up from the bottom of the ocean!"

Fred immediately felt her face go red. She honestly hadn't considered that; and feeling somewhat embarrassed, she just silently followed the Pylean demon up the stairs, putting her former friend out of her mind. If Wesley didn't want to help, fine.

Who needed him? She had a boyfriend to cure, plus a boss and a best friend to find, and she could do it without that guy's help.

Right?


A few seconds later – outside the Hyperon Hotel, Los Angeles; not long after sunset:

Wesley felt infuriated as he strode away from the hotel. Infuriated with himself, with Lorne, with Cordelia, maybe even with the entire damned universe. He felt dirty as well; violated by that bloody lounge demon's misbegotten spell...

"Hello, Wes," he heard a familiar female voice say, as he reached the limousine and the rear side door opened. "Finally back to normal again, I take it? No, don't both answering. That look on your face says it all."

"Lilah," Wesley said, abruptly realizing who his 'benefactor' was and cursing himself for not figuring it out sooner. Gritting his teeth, he said two words that came very hard to his lips. "Thank you."

"What, for helping you after you slept with me under false pretenses? You're welcome," the female attorney grinned at him like a shark. "Now get in, and let's go back to your apartment. You owe me lots of orgasms, lover, on account of Madam Anita's services? Definitely not cheap."

Shrugging, Wesley decided to put their recent past – him fucking the beautiful brunette without knowing who she was, and her nails digging into his cheek before the upset Lilah had stormed out of the apartment – out of his mind.

All things considered, some angry sex with this woman sounded like something he'd definitely enjoy right now.


A while later – Xander's apartment, Sunnydale; evening:

Cordelia sat on the living room couch, staring at nothing in particular as Xander talked on the phone to Giles. She paid little attention to the transatlantic conversation, lost in her own thoughts as she remembered all the screaming she'd done after they'd arrived home from the mall.

The problem was that, in one sense, Cordelia knew exactly who she was; and yet, in another sense, she didn't. Because however much she hated it – nearly five years had gone by, and her boyfriend wasn't really her boyfriend, not anymore. He had... changed. It had occurred to her that if she wanted to get the Doofus back, she was going to have to likewise change her tactics and behavior; it was kinda obvious that acting like the Cordelia Chase he'd known back in high school wasn't going to get the job done...

"OK, Giles, I gotcha. See you when you finally get here," she heard Xander say, and Cordy turned to face her ex as he pressed the End button on the phone and hung up. Harris noticed her looking at him and quickly joined her on the couch. "G-man says to say hello, by the way – and that he's sorry to hear about what's happened to you, Cor."

"Yeah, yeah. So, can he help?" she asked, getting straight to the heart of the matter.

"I dunno. Maybe. Apparently, they're having some kinda meltdown over there in the Land of the Tweed Men right now," Xander shrugged. "All the Potential Slayers in the world are currently under attack, and I get me the feeling that that's gotta be their priority. That, and Buffy's recent encounters with the First – plus getting Faith out of jail, since apparently Willow convinced him to do it earlier today. So, no idea when he'll eventually come back to Sunnydale; and until then, we're on our own."

"Great," Cordy said bitingly, briefly throwing her arms up in exasperation. She decided to ignore the whole Faith thing, even if the casual mention of Xander's former lover made her a bit uneasy, and said, "So, what do I do until then?"

"Well, uh, Willow will come up with something before too much longer, I'm pretty sure," Harris replied comfortingly. "So, try to think of all this as a... well, a vacation of sorts."

"A vacation?" she looked at him incredulously.

"Yeah. A vacation from 'you.' I mean, whatever's happening in the life of Cordelia Chase right now in L.A.? You don't have to worry about all that, at least not for the moment. Look, I know it's hard – but just relax and enjoy for tonight, Cor. Tomorrow's hassles will come soon enough, I'm thinking."

Cordelia looked at him, before letting her shoulders slump in defeat. "And the worst part is, you're probably right. Because that's pretty much the story of our lives, isn't it? Just – one disaster after the other. Like Parent-Teacher Night, me nearly becoming the freaking Bride of Daryl Epps, that episode at Buffy's house with the Tarakan Worm Guy, blowing up that Smurf demon with that rocket launcher at the mall, nearly getting eaten alive at the Bronze by Werewolf Oz that night – "

"Yeah – those were the good old days, weren't they? And I miss Oz, I really do," Xander interrupted with a cheerful, nostalgic look on his face. "Normal guy like me, except for three days of the month; but come a full moon, he had a wolf-y mojo that was definitely not to be messed with."

"Yeah. So whatever happened to him, anyway? I mean, I heard that he's not a vampire and he left town after turning Willow gay, but that sure as hell doesn't sound like the Oz I know," Cordy frowned. "You also mentioned something about how him and Willow broke up during their freshman year of college?"

Sighing, Xander briefly explained about the whole Veruca mess, and then what had happened months later when Oz had come back to the Hellmouth, looking to reconcile with Willow. He told her about Tara, the Initiative, and helping break the werewolf out of that military facility before he'd left town – and, presumably, the country as well. Harris finished up by saying, "Just gotta hope that wherever he is nowadays, Oz has managed to put the past behind him and found some happiness in life."

"Yeah," Cordelia agreed absently, before changing the subject. "So, what now? I mean, what now for me?"

"You stay here for as long as you like," Xander reiterated his previous promise to her. "And what the hell, let's live a little. What do you say to us going out to dinner? Or visiting to the Bronze?"

"Well... that doesn't sound like it'd suck, I suppose. But don't you have to work tomorrow? As well as figure out a way to deal with that asshole boss of yours?" Cordelia pointed out, even if her skin warmed at her former boyfriend's offer.

"Good point," Xander admitted, deflating slightly. "OK, how about we stay in tonight and watch a movie? Or even two movies, it's still kinda early in the evening."

She sighed. "What did you have in mind?"

Xander smiled, got up off the couch and went over to a nearby shelf. He rummaged around and then grabbed a couple of DVDs, which he brought back to her. "How about these?"

"Oh, jeez," Cordelia snorted, rolling her eyes. "Westerns? Dork Boy, it's obvious that deep down, you haven't changed at all!"

"Hey – as I recall, you liked Big Jake and Silverado way back when," Xander said, smirking. "Besides: A Fistful Of Dollars, which is not just 'a' Western but the Western, and For A Few Dollars More, the sequel... "

"Jeez, again. So, what is it with your Clint Eastwood fixation?" Cordelia asked.

"I dunno. Maybe it has something to do with that International Dance thing, back in our junior year," Xander replied, briefly looking like he was shrugging off the bad memories of Ampata – the Inca Mummy Girl she'd heard about, not long after they'd officially gotten together. "Anyway, with your permission?"

"OK, fine. I suppose there are worse ways to spend a Monday night. Even if none come to mind right now," Cordelia said, kinda grumpily.

Xander smiled and quickly put the DVD into the player, and then walked back to the couch. He subsequently hit 'Play' on the remote control, after setting the DVD casings back on the coffee table. He then leaned back on the couch and unconsciously put his arm around her. Cordelia smiled at once, and immediately snuggled in close to his side. Harris looked at her, and was about to say something – when he visibly changed his mind. He just relaxed, and held her tightly.

"I take it back. This is actually... nice," Cordelia said happily, as the opening credits started to roll.

"Sure is," Xander nodded, before adding, "You want some popcorn?"

"Maybe later," she replied. "Let's just watch the movie."

Nearly two hours later, Cordelia had to admit to herself that she'd enjoyed watching A Fistful Of Dollars, and a lot more than she'd thought she would. "That was actually... not too horrible," she said, getting up from the couch and stretching to get all the kinks out of her muscles.

"Uh, yulummana?" Xander blinked, his eyes briefly glued to the jiggle of her breasts. He then shook his head, recovering his wits. "I mean, you liked?"

"Yeah, it wasn't too bad," Cordelia replied with a smirk. { Hrmm, definitely gonna have to do that more often! } "So, favorite movie of yours, huh?"

"One of 'em, anyway." Harris pointed to the For A Few Dollars More DVD on the coffee table. "Other one, sitting right there."

"So, did you used to watch these movies with that Anya woman?" Cordelia asked a bit too casually.

"Nope," Xander shook his head at once. "She's not exactly a big fan of Westerns. Apparently, there were a lot of women wanting vengeance on their cheating husbands and boyfriends back then – and Ahn was actually there in the Old West, pretty often. Hell, the one time I made her watch For A Few Dollars More with me? She couldn't help pointing out everything that was wrong with the movie, from her point of view. Kinda sucked all the fun out of watching it, I hafta tell you. Matter of fact, the only Western Ahn ever seemed to like was Unforgiven, what with the whole vengeance thing built in and all."

"Oh. That's too bad, I guess."

"Yeah. Still, the aftermath of watching that particular movie – well, let's just say Anya definitely knew what I liked, and leave it at that," Xander smiled and fondly shook his head at the memory of that weekend of debauchery that had followed, before getting up and going over to the DVD player to withdraw the movie disc.

He never noticed the upset look on Cordelia's face, as she muttered something about going to pee in the bathroom, and quickly put the A Fistful Of Dollars DVD back in its casing.


The same time – outside the Bronze, Sunnydale; evening:

Spike wasn't feeling in the best of moods, as he walked past the bouncer into the club and quickly ordered some alcohol from the bartender. "Heineken lager, mate."

The blond-haired and kinda pimply-looking bartender – the same one who had served Cordelia her cappuccino last night, even though Spike didn't know that – just stared at him. "I.D."

"What the sodding – you honestly tryin' to card me, already? Don't I look over eighteen to you?" Spike glared at the man.

"Legal drinking age in California is twenty-one. And there's a new Bronze policy in place; you wanna be served booze, I need to see some I.D. No matter who it is," the barman said, stone-faced.

Spike just glared at him, unable to believe the nerve of this uppity ponce...

"Hey. I'd like a Bud, please?" a young man said as he slid into the bar stool opposite Spike, holding up his driver's license.

"Sure thing." The bartender turned around, reached onto the fridge and pulled a bottle of Budweiser out. "That'll be a buck fifty."

"Here ya go." The new arrival glanced at Spike, who was staring at him in disbelief. "There a problem here, friend?"

"Un-bloody-believable," Spike said, partly to himself and partly to the guy sitting next to him. "I can't even buy a decent ale in a bloody teen nightclub like this?!"

The dark-haired man shrugged, "If you say so."

"I mean time was, everyone was afraid of me, the name 'Spike' was feared throughout the bloody world; but now? The whelp was right, I've become a complete bleedin' joke," Spike cursed to himself.

The young man opposite him frowned. "Hey, come on, it can't be that bad... "

"Can't be that bad? Last night, I get kicked out of the apartment I was living in. Then the woman I love, she tells me I can't even stay in her basement, 'cause her little sister – she doesn't want me hangin' 'round no more," Spike said miserably. "Plus I got less than fifty bucks in me wallet, and everything I own in this world is in 'ere!" He briefly held up his duffel bag. "Can't be that bad, mate? It bloody well is, and then some!"

"Look, uh, Spike, is it? That's a, um, interesting story, so why don't you have a beer on me? Another Budweiser for my new friend in need here," the man gestured briefly to the bartender.

Shaking his head, the barman quickly handed over the beer and walked away to another part of the bar to serve another customer. Spike and his new acquaintance talked for a while, and neither of them seemed to notice when a dead ringer for Spike walked up to the bar, an angry look on its face.

"Lost my good right arm, I did. Shoulda known how, deep down, that Caleb bloke didn't 'ave what it took, right? Well, never mind, mate – I still got you," the ringer said, a big smirk suddenly appearing on his face.

"Ya know, I feel a song coming on," the Spike lookalike added glibly, as the two men left the bar and head over to the pool table. "Early one morning, just as the sun was rising, I heard the fair maid sing in the valley down below. Oh, don't deceive me. Oh never leave me." He sat on the stairs leading to the upper level. "How could you use a poor maid so?"

Spike – the real one – started humming the song as well. He then looked at his companion and said, "By the way, mate, what's yer name?"

"Holden Webster. But all my friends call me Webs," the young man replied with a shrug, as nearby, the Spike lookalike – the First Evil – started chuckling in amusement.

TBC…


A/N: Okay, we're more or less done with the events of Spin The Bottle (some people have complained about how long all that was dragging on; sorry, but it was necessary!) and now, we're more or less headed towards Conversations With Dead People. In our opinion, that was one of the more enjoyable episodes of BTVS season 7, even if Amber and Eric couldn't come back to reprise their roles as Tara and Jesse! Anyway, thank-you as always to everyone out there reading and reviewing this story, we hope you come back for more soon!